News Update for 2/4/21

Early morning fog socked in several areas of Highlands County during the pre-dawn hours. The worst of it came at the intersection of Highway 27 and Skipper Road south of Sebring when a car ran up under a semi tractor-trailer rig.
The driver of the car had to be freed by first responders, then was sent to a local hospital for treatment. No word as to their condition.

It’s cold weather and local officials are warning residents to be careful with space heaters. Yesterday, units responding to a call of general malaise found a mobile home full of carbon monoxide that had sickened a resident at the Wheel Estate Mobile home & RV Park.
Crews ventilated the structure and the resident was transported to a local hospital.
They say a gas heater is being investigated as a possible source.

Crews from Leisure Lakes and Desoto City were called out yesterday afternoon to extinguish a two-acre brush fire off Whippoorwill Road. Florida Forest Service assisted with a supervisor and plow.
The fire was located in a pasture and a heavily wooded area. Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Highlands County commissioners are in search of a way to clean up their recycling program. According to reports, between half and 70-percent of the recycling loads picked up by the county’s hauler – Waste Connections – contain non-recyclable materials.
That results in the whole load being spoiled – meaning additional costs. As much as 400-tons per-month reportedly are dumped at a landfill and does not go to a re-use facility. Officials are looking at ways to get citizens to cooperate and put only recyclable materials in the green cans.

Highlands reportedly is one of thirty-one Florida counties that have agreed to provide Spanish-language elections ballots and other materials in Spanish as part of a lawsuit settlement.
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker approved the settlement between the county election supervisors and Latino advocacy groups who complained the counties were in violation of the Voting Rights Act.
Highlands Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg says Highlands already is doing more than the terms of the settlement.
Under the agreement, the counties must have Spanish-language ballots, have Spanish-language polling place materials, provide vote-by-mail ballot request forms in Spanish, have a hotline to help Spanish speakers and provide a Spanish-language translation of the elections supervisor’s website.